Release Date: Apr 17, 2012
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Neo-Classical Metal, Power Metal
Although heavy metal has long embraced the bombastic and the overwrought, DragonForce's remorselessly cheery blend of sugary, Eurovision-style melodies and rampaging velocity has polarised opinion among the leather-clad hordes. Arriving four years after the disappointing Ultra Beatdown, showcasing the dog-startling pipes of new vocalist Marc Hudson, The Power Within amounts to both a strident comeback and an attempt to broaden the Londoners' sonic palate. A neat encapsulation of their appeal, Wings of Liberty crams a vast amount into seven breathless minutes: syrupy balladry, balls-out aggression, sublime lead guitar breaks, arcade machine wibbling and a chorus so triumphant that only the most hard-hearted could resist.
Power metal champions DragonForce's fifth studio album, The Power Within, is the first outing to feature new vocalist Marc Hudson, who replaced ZP Theart in 2010 -- Theart's split with the group was blamed on "insurmountable differences of musical opinion. " If it was Theart's opinion that the band should explore new sonic territories, then he was wise to leave, as The Power Within certainly doesn’t deviate from the likeable yet generic fantasy-metal foundation that the group has been building on since 2003's Valley of the Damned, but with that said, when it comes to crafting melodious, impossibly expeditious mini-epics that blend radio-ready pop melodies with the double bass drum-powered cacophony of neo-classical heavy metal, DragonForce truly wields the mightiest broadsword. Like Theart, Hudson can belt out inane lyrics like "Steel of our brave hearts trapped inside in frozen illusion" with blistering conviction, and cuts like "Fallen World," "Cry Thunder," and "Seasons" feel musically purposeful as well, firing off enough Iron Maiden/Helloween-inspired guitar and keytar harmonies to bring down an entire army of marauding Orcs.